The Indian Air Force's long pending requirement of basic trainer aircraft can now be met with the acquisition of 75 Pilatus planes starting later this year. The IAF signed a Rs 2,800 crore deal with the Swiss company on Thursday.
The aircraft will help the IAF replace its fleet of HPT-32 basic trainer aircraft which have been grounded for over two years now after a fatal air crash in 2009. "Pilatus Aircraft Ltd is proud to announce that IAF has entered today into a contract in excess of 500 million Swiss Francs to procure a fleet of 75 PC-7 MkII turboprop aircraft," the company said in a release.
"Delivery of the aircraft and the complete training system is scheduled to commence in fourth quarter this year," it said.
The IAF is procuring the aircraft together with an integrated ground based training system and a comprehensive logistics support package.
"The contract also contains an option clause for extending the scope of this contract within three years from initial signature and we are optimistic that this will indeed be executed," it said.
The government had cleared the procurement of these aircraft in a Cabinet Committee on Security meeting held earlier this month.
According to the contract, Pilatus will also do a transfer of technology to the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited for maintenance of the fleet for the next 30 years.
Pilatus will also do 30 per cent offsets of the worth of the deal.
"Pilatus has also entered into a separate off-set contract with the Government of India for 30 per cent of the value of this contract and we view this as a major opportunity," the company said.